Aldo Colombini – The Battle

Aldo Colombili

You won’t be surprised if I tell you that I’m very fond of the Elmsley Count. So far you have discovered that I use the count a lot. If only Alex had a penny for every trick that uses his count he would be a millionaire! The following routine makes use of this count and has several surprises.

Three Jokers are shown together with the four Aces. One after the other the four Aces are inserted face up among the face down Jokers and, one after the other, the Aces turn face down. At the end the Jokers change into Kings!

You need three Jokers added to a deck. You can keep the Jokers aside or in the deck. Place the four Kings face down on top of the face down deck.

Leave the four Aces on the table. Take the deck face down into the left hand dealing position and obtain a break underneath the four Kings. At the same time the right hand shows the Jokers.

Square the Jokers face up on top of the deck and secretly add the top four cards of the deck (Kings) below the Jokers. Grip the seven card packet from above in the right hand. The left thumb peels off the top Joker onto the deck. With the right hand packet, flip the Joker face down and take it below the right hand packet. Repeat the same move with the next two Jokers and then drop the cards onto the deck. Spread the top three cards, then take them with the right hand, square them on the deck and secretly add the fourth card below. You have four Kings in the right hand (while the audience believes you have three Jokers). Leave the deck aside.

Turn the four Aces face down on the table. Fan the four cards (Kings) as three in the left hand, keeping the last two as one. Insert the top Ace face up third from the top into the packet. Square and perform an Elmsley Count showing four face down cards (apparently the Ace has turned face down.) As you perform the count, out-jog the third card (apparently the face down Ace). Take the out-jogged card and place it onto the table. (It is a King.)

Grip the packet from above with the right hand and perform a partial Ascanio Spread (the left thumb peels off the top card and the left fingers peel off the bottom card leaving the middle two cards as one in the right hand.)

Fan the cards face down in the left hand keeping the middle two as one. The right hand picks up the second Ace and places it into the packet face up and third from the top (directly below the double card). Square the packet and perform an Elmsley Count showing four face down cards. Out-jog the third card, strip it out and place it on top of the previously tabled card (you now have two tabled Kings).

Casually move the top card to the bottom of the packet (from top to bottom you have: A face down King, two face up Aces, and a face down King). The right hand picks up the third Ace and, without showing it, places it FACE DOWN from behind, underneath the packet. Apparently you are placing it among the cards but really perform the Buckle and place the card second from the bottom. Perform an Elmsley Count and an Ace is seen reversed. Repeat the Elmsley Count placing the last two on top of the others WITHOUT REVERSING THEIR ORDER (the right thumb takes the bottom card first of the two cards in the left hand, leaving this card out-jogged, and then takes the last card.) The cards appear all face down again. Strip out the out-jogged card and place it onto the tabled cards.

The right hand picks up the fourth Ace and, without showing it, places it face down on top of the left hand packet. Perform a Double Turnover and show an Ace. Perform an Ascanio Spread (explained on page 113 in Joker’s Wild) showing four face up Aces. Square the packet and then, with the right hand, turn the three tabled cards face up and show three Kings.

Place the Ace packet face up onto the face down deck, cut and complete the cut. Spread the deck face down and in the middle you have the four Aces face up and a face down card between them. Turn the face down card over to reveal the fourth King.


  • Instead of the Kings you may use selected cards.
  • The Elmsley Counts are performed with five cards but you show only four.